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Sue Lockwood

Sue Lockwood
Teacher
What was your personal motivation behind participating in this project?
The school where I work has a high percentage of Aboriginal students, and I really have a genuine interest in Aboriginal culture, so I'm always keen to find out some more.
How did you go about making links with your local Aboriginal community?
One of the team members that we worked with is Aboriginal and has made links with the local community and we also worked with our local Aboriginal Liaison Officer who was a good link between us and the local Elders. 
How has your view or perspective changed on the impact of Aboriginal beliefs and culture on scientific understanding?
The main perspective of mine which changed was this was discovering how Aboriginal people handled information which we call “Scientific”.  When an Aboriginal is given information, the person giving the information owns it and it’s not to be passed on to others freely as would happen with the western scientific community.  So the western culture of gathering information and disseminating it widely is very different to that in Aboriginal culture.
What strategies would you use in developing further teaching units to address Aboriginal perspectives in Science?
I would continue to use a strategy that the group used for this project.  We used a document called “The Wiradjuri Heritage Study” and that was used as a stimulus for a lot of the items that we developed.
What barriers did you encounter in trying to undertake this project?
The main barriers I found were just logistical factors such as time, resources, such as internet access, access to digital cameras, access to references and computers.  While the local community was very supportive, it was just a time factor in being able to access those people.
Where to from here? What will you do in future to plan for and implement Aboriginal perspectives content into your Years 7-10 science teaching-learning program?
I think some of the work we did addressed specific sections of the syllabus very clearly.  I think we’d also need to remember that we can use Aboriginal culture as a tool to address some of the process outcomes within the syllabus.  Again, using local information as much as possible and also for teachers to be mindful of the fact that traditional western science is different in the way it disseminates information compared to Aboriginal culture.
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